Banging the drum for whimsical sculptures: If Red Wing, Puerto Vallarta, and NYC can do it, why not Northfield?

I’ve blogged about some whimsical sculptures that I’ve happened upon:

and how it would it be cool to see some in downtown Northfield.

jester sculpture in Red Wing's Levee Park jester sculpture in Red Wing's Levee Park Griff Wigley, jester sculpture in Red Wing's Levee Park
Robbie and I were in Red Wing last weekend and I discovered this jester sculpture in their Levee Park downtown along the Mississippi River.

Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park Amanda Wigley, Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park Amanda Wigley, Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park
On our trip to NYC last month, we happened upon the Alice in Wonderland sculpture in Central Park. There were so many kids and adults climbing all over it and posing for photos, my daughter-in-law had to wait in line.

What would it take to get the artistic-oriented forces of Northfield behind something like this?

How about some al fresco whimsical art sculpture for Northfield's new Riverwalk Arts Quarter?

Robbie and I’ve been in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico the past week, vacationing with some friends from Kenyon, MN. (You may have been wondering about the lack of quality/quantity of my participation here on LoGroNo. Now you know why.)

Malecón's bronze sculptures Malecón's bronze sculptures Malecón's bronze sculptures Malecón's bronze sculpturesMalecón's bronze sculptures

The oceanside boardwalk in the center of Puerto Vallarta is called the Malecón, home to many whimsical bronze sculptures which, as I watched over the course of a few hours, were amazing in their ability to engage people for play and photos.

dean kjerland

I left town about the same time the news hit about the Riverwalk Arts Quarter, spearheaded by ArtOnWater’s Dean Kjerland, getting funded by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF).

Dean blogged about it on Northfield.org:

riverwalkartsA group of arts entrepreneurs, supporting organizations and businesses surrounding the downtown riverwalk from 2nd Street to Bridge Square has been awarded a major grant by the McKnight-funded Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF).

The grant was awarded to the founding members of the Riverwalk Arts Quarter and will be used to build a community-wide coalition to engage in what SMIF terms ‘asset-based economic development’ concentrating on the existing assets here in the north end of the downtown including the arts resources and underutilized riverwalk. The organizing members represent an unusual concentration of investments in a dozen facilities plus equipment and staff dedicated partially or fully to serving the visual artist and its patrons.

I’d love to see some Malecón-type whimsical public art on Northfield’s “underutilized riverwalk.” I can imagine thousands of visitors’ photos plastered all over the internet within a few years, providing a free, never-ending viral marketing campaign for downtown Northfield.

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